|50 Contestants pose in white dresses for Life Magazine in 1956.|
Today, I still enjoy watching pageants. Last night, it was fun to see social media commentary while watching the Miss America pageant. You can see my twitter feed from last night to see what I had to say. While all of the participants prepared for this competition, it is easy to see who truly has talent and poise and who has been coached. My preliminary picks were Miss Virginia, Miss New York, and Miss Texas. After some of my favorites were eliminated, I supported Miss Oklahoma, who was the first runner up.
Some observations from last night:
1. Judges: I’m not sure how judges were selected, but I’m not sure that these people recognize poise, talent, and character. Kris Jenner as a judge?
2. Talent: The talent portion of the evening is always interesting. We had quite a few dancers who looked like they had spent 6 months preparing for a dance recital. Only two, Miss Oklahoma with her Irish Dance, and Miss California who danced on pointe, demonstrated a high level of skill in their presentations. Someone needs to tell the other ballerinas on pointe that regular shoes would have been sufficient. I had high hopes for Miss Texas on the piano, but was disappointed with her posture.
Then we had the singers. During the song about Disneyland, I actually laughed out loud at the lyrics. "I still believe in Disneyland, maybe it's all fake, but that's a chance I'll take." Really? No pageant is complete without someone putting on a red dress and singing Memory from Cats. The twist on this song was that it was sung in Italian.
3. Tidbits and Fun Facts: Some of the information about each contestant that ran across the bottom of the screen was just strange. Knows how to give a manicure to a cow? Afraid of windmills?
4. Miss Wisconsin needs to invest in some waterproof mascara.
Just this week, one of my friends posted something about a pageant for her elementary school daughter on Facebook and it elicited many, many comments and opinions, including quite a few negative ones. People have very strong opinions about pageants. In my opinion, pageants are no different than any other sport or extracurricular activity for a young girl when they are handled correctly by the parent. Overzealous parents exist in every sport, dance, and activity. When parents don’t handle things correctly, they can push their child into difficult schedules, activities, and affect their general well being and self esteem through activities that are not necessarily age appropriate.
It’s up to us as responsible parents to allow our children to participate in activities that they enjoy. It’s up to us to instill good character and values in children while emphasizing the importance of education. Any extracurricular activity, whether it is pageants or soccer, requires a proper balance. Ok, so I’ll get off my soapbox now.
My girls love to watch a good pageant as much as they enjoy watching a high school girls’ soccer game. But we’re certainly looking forward to the Miss Universe competition.
God Bless America
image via Time